Plant Rich Diets: 2021 showered us with significant growth within the plant-based foods market with innovation focusing on replicating chicken, beef, and cheese. 

Research suggests that 56% of food and drink brand owners and manufacturers are most likely to invest their new product development budgets in the development of plant-based products in 2022.

Whilst plant-based foods are overall better from a sustainability perspective, not all plant-based foods, particularly those with significant amounts of sugars, saturated fats, and salts, are necessarily beneficial from a health perspective. 

Food businesses need to be cautious and ensure plant-based foods are more healthy than the meat items they were designed to replace.

Immunity-Boosting Foods: It's more important than ever to focus on a healthy and balanced diet. Incorporating foods such as blueberries, broccoli, spinach, garlic, ginger, dark chocolate, and red peppers into our daily routine can help boost immunity. 

There's also evidence that proves diets filled with plants, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, combined with lifestyle choices, can have incredible anti-inflammatory effects as well as boost immunity.

According to research, what we eat drastically affects our mental health and well-being. For instance, a Mediterranean-style diet has been proven to reduce symptoms of depression. 

Research also shows our gut reflects how we're feeling: if we're stressed, it can cause problems. Healthy gut foods include fermented vegetables, fruit, and probiotics.

Packaging Innovation: More and more food brands are starting to question the sourcing of their packaging materials, and the pressure to reduce plastic packaging continues to uproar.

Companies are looking for processes that are sustainable, and that will help them reduce their carbon footprint. Some have been turning to cardboard packaging alternatives, while others are starting to experiment with bioplastics. 

In 2022 you can even expect to see a move towards edible packaging options, which will be made from rice paper, seaweed, and cornstarch.